Yesterday I had the extreme pleasure of attending an event at P. Allen Smith’s Moss Mountain Farm here in Arkansas. I was extended an invitation a few months ago by P. Allen Smith’s marketer extraordinaire, Mimi San Pedro (who was a little burst of sassy sunshine on that rainy day). I am ashamed to admit that when she first approached me, I was leery. I had no clue who P. Allen Smith was (eek!) and was a little worried about how she had come to know my first name (she messaged me via my blog fan page). However, after conferring with my fellow Arkansas bloggers, I was quickly assured that she was no Facebook creeper, that P. Allen Smith is a great person and a friend of our blogger group, and that if she was asking for my email address I should give it to her because was likely gearing up for a fantastic event.
And boy was it ever!
I knew a bit about what to expect. As soon as I got info about the event, I went and looked up P. Allen Smith and Moss Mountain Farm. I visited his website, his Youtube channel, and his Facebook fan page. I checked out his content and loved it. I had never heard of him before, but I have been interested in gardening for quite some time. In fact, I would really like to start a container garden now (since I rent) and eventually work my way up to an actual garden filled with fruits, veggies, and herbs. My very own backyard grocery store! I’d also like to have a few chickens for eggs. So I was very glad to learn about his website and show.
I also watched Youtube videos of his home/farm tours and so I had an idea of what to expect. However, being there in person was a bit surreal. His home and estate are just…beautiful. I can’t imagine actually being able to live in a place like that. I commented to one person that if I ever got to the point where that was my reality, I’d probably cry every day out of sheer thankfulness. It was truly lovely. The home. His gardens. The view of the Arkansas River Valley. Not even the rain could block out the fact that we were viewing nature in all of its glory. And the home was not to be overlooked either. From the outside it was very elegant. The indoors was a mixture of the “olden days” and modernity. It is the architect’s and the interior decorator’s dream come true.
The event started out in the front of the main buildings. The bloggers and sponsors gathered together. Some of us knew each already. Others didn’t. We spent some time networking. At first it felt like the first day of school and that first day just happens to be a field trip. I admit that I was shy and nervous. If there had been a wall, I would have been leaning up against it. Lol! But I did meet some really nice people as I tried my best not to draw the attention of any of the camera crew.
Around 10:30, P. Allen Smith came out to kick things off. We were introduced to the team that was sponsoring the event (which was all about helping families to save up for college through the Gift College Investing Plan and the Aspiring Scholars Matching Grant). Throughout the tour, P. Allen Smith regaled us with his Southern charm, relating stories about everything from the history of the property/home, Native American history, his personal history (did you know that his mom was the single mother of 4 children?), chickens, gardening, and a lot of other things that I now kick myself for not recording. He was a very pleasant and engaging tour guide and host. I even had the opportunity to chat with him for a few minutes about container gardening. We were able to browse around at will throughout his home, checking out the 3 levels and many rooms.
After touring the home, we were escorted around various parts of the estate by P. Allen Smith. So many beautiful flowers and lush gardens of HUGE vegetables. It was really lovely. And my allergies didn’t bother me one bit. Lol! Near the end of the estate tour, it started raining, but it was still a great tour. Very scenic and relaxing (though I was a bit winded after climbing a hill from the rose gardens, haha).
After the estate tour ((btw, the property spans 600 acres or so — but of course we didn’t cover that much, lol), we were treated to a very tasty lunch of fresh salad, a chicken salad tart (at least that is what I call it), and “Banana Delight” (which was indeed delightful and can be found in his cookbook “Seasonal Recipes from the Garden”
After lunch, we had a panel discussion about an awesome college savings plan that is available in many states, including Arkansas. It got me more excited about preparing for my son’s academic future. More on that in another post that I will be typing up today (which is College Savings Day).
So that was how I spent quite a few hours yesterday. It was highly enjoyable and I am thankful to have been invited to participate. If you are ever in Arkansas and would like to visit Moss Mountain Farm, you can check out their website for more details. It is a great activity, especially if you are a fan of P. Allen Smith or gardening.